The Commies are Back

1998 > Russia

Its time to break out the Lenin portraits again!

Don't be scared, its only a costume
The Reds are on the rise

All going to the dacha, not the Kremlin
No, it’s not the commies

Its a concert, not a protest!
We like music, not government
Classic Soviet Realism
We want to party!
The Great Russian bogeyman is back, the Communist Party,
or so it hopes. The leader of the party, Gennadiy Zyuganov, called for a
nationwide protest on Oct 7th, to show the government that there was a
real mass movement to change what is happening in Russia. Check out the
opening to his call to march:


Gaydar stole your savings; Chubays stole your property;
Chernomyrdin stole your pay. But for seven years you have been patient.
First you believed Yeltsin’s promises and the lying television. Then you
hoped to survive on your own, to sit out the crisis in your vegetable

As a reward for your submissiveness, since 17 August they have
been stealing from you all that you have left. And no end to this
process is in sight. If you continue to be patient, tomorrow they will
drive you out of house and home. They will put your mother and father in
the graveyard, turn your wife and sister into prostitutes, and leave
your children to beg at the church door. And you will be able to
‘freely’ choose: Either to hang yourself or to take up a
cudgel and embark on a life of crime.’

Pretty good start eh? Too bad this is Russia and not Indonesia where
even student protesters can topple the government if the kids don’t get
video games in the lunchroom. See, in Russia, there is a different
feeling towards the government and its ability to change.

In 1917, Russia completely changed its government, made a government
of the people, by the people, for the people, more than any other had in
all of history. They swept away 1000 years of monarchy and tyranny for a
new system run by the very proletariat that were so horrible persecuted
before. Now look what became of that great social experiment. After 70
years of trying, the people finally had enough and switched yet again,
to the system the rest of us use, a for of elected government with
separate branches.

This third system, in less than 100 years, is on the rocks, and
Zuggie-baby though the people of this country were gonna get pissed? Ha!
By now, the people have learned that no matter who is in the Kremlin, or
what he is called, a wolf is still a wolf, even in sheep’s clothing, or
laying in Grandma’s bed. He still has big eyes, big ears, and big teeth,
the better to get what he wants with minimal opposition.

The Russian people showed up for Zuggie-baby’s march all right. The
old pensioners who dream of the days of 15 kopeck sausages and don’t
have vacations in Spain. The four Esparado backers hoping to change the
world’s languages to some obscure academic anomaly, and other such
dreamers. The drunks and various rabble, always found in public events,
worldwide, and more militzi and journalists than anyone else.

Chaos and chaff is about it. When I went to the march, there wasn’t
much going on. No speakers past a few yelling at whomever would listen,
about their grand schemes to resurrect the glory of Russia under Stalin.
No direction, no formulation, no organization.

Oh, no one either. A thousand people do not make a revolution. It
takes millions! I think that is the end of Communists for a while. The
end of them in Moscow anyway.

07 November 1998, The Hindustan Times

The Great October Revolution Anniversary

From: Fred Weir in Moscow

MOSCOW (HT Nov 7) — Ten of thousand Communist supporters marched
through downtown Moscow Saturday to mark the 81st anniversary of the
Bolshevik Revolution and to demand the removal of today’s Russian

‘The country has been destroyed by criminals led by President
Boris Yeltsin,’ said Yelena Alexandrova, a 65-year old geophysicist
who was among the estimated 1,000 protesters who gathered on Moscow’s
Lubyanka Square. ‘The Soviet Union created industry and national
power, and these people have wrecked it in less than a decade. They must
all be driven out.’

The crowd was addressed by Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov,
parliamentary Speaker Gennady Seleznyov and other left- wing leaders.
All speakers bemoaned the dismal state of Russia’s economy, the
degradation of its armed forces and the social demoralization since the
demise of the USSR. Mr. Zyuganov called for President Yeltsin’s
impeachment and formation of a government of national trust to pull
Russia out of its historic crisis.

The November 7 anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution was the
most important day on the Soviet calendar. Festivities always included a
huge military parade on Red Square, with Communist Party leaders
watching from atop the masoleum of Vladimir Lenin, founder of the USSR.
It remains an official holiday in post-Soviet Russia, but has been
re-named as ‘the day of national reconciliation’. For most
people it is simply an extra day off work, but millions of Communists
and their supporters continue to celebrate it for its ideological
significance. ‘This is a day that has global meaning. All of
history was changed by the Russian Revolution,’ said Alexandra
Yastrebova, a 64-year old professor at Peoples Friendship University in
Moscow. ‘The Revolution was an example of how people can change
their lives radically, and today it more than ever shows the way to the

This year Russia has endured economic breakdown and sharply
deteriorating social stability. Aid agencies fear mass hunger and social
collapse could afflict some regions of the country this winter. Mr.
Yeltsin, who engineered the breakup of the USSR and has dominated
post-Soviet politics, is enfeebled by illness and appears to be fading
from political relevance. ‘Russia is at one of those moments like
1917 when everything can be turned around by revolution,’ said Ms.
Yastrebova. ‘I would be very happy to see this monster Yeltsin and
all his works swept away by the tide of history.’



Russian society traditionally continues to celebrate a few
traditional Soviet era dates. For example, on October 29 many Russians
celebrated 80 Anniversary of Komsomol (Young Communist League). Few big
meetings and ceremonies were held in Khabarovsk Russian Army Officers
Club Hall and other public places, where former Komsomol members met to
‘remember those old days’. I participated in the events as a
former Komsomol member (from 1964 to 1976).

Does it mean that former Komsomol members want communist era back?
Not, in any way!!! The celebration was not a political act, but
Nostalgia for ‘those old days when we were young and happy’.
During the party I had chance to crook elbows and chat with many famous
Khabarovsk entrepreneurs, financiers, local government and federal
officers. All of them are former Komsomol members, but I can bet, they
do not want return of Communism and old political system.

About 90% of young people in the USSR were Komsomol members. Many of
them accepted Komsomol as the public youth organization, rather than a
political party. Komsomol organized many public events like Subbotniks
(Similar to a Clean-Up Campaign), when few hours of public works usually
ended with happy music and dancing parties. There was many interesting
public events and discussions clubs. In 1986 industrious Komsomol
members were the first to established private cooperatives. Many Russian
political and economic leaders’ and entrepreneurs’ mentality was formed
during that period of time by Komsomol activities.

Yesterday Khabarovsk celebrated a Great October Socialist Revolution
Day. We had a number of events and parties. And not because on November
7 Russians supported the Bolshevik revolution, but because this
generation has an instinct to meet their friends and comrades and
celebrate with them this date. Of cause, there’s a small group of rabid
Bolsheviks in Khabarovsk who had a red flag waving noisily meeting. But
even they now are on the commercial capitalist move. Last month
Bolsheviks offered me to buy books of Stalin and North Korean Leader Kim
Il Sen. When I mentioned that Old Leninist Guards always offered people
free propaganda books, the Bolshevik merchants attacked me and I had to
run away for my life.

Social psychology is a pretty conservative thing. For example, in
20-th Bolshevik Party prohibited celebration of Christmas. Christmas
Tree at home was considered as a ‘counter-revolutionary act’.
But people secretly celebrated Christmas, not because they were
religious, but because it was the tradition of fathers and their youth.
Then in 1935 Stalin (sure he was a smart guy) introduced a New Year Day
on January 1, and renamed Christmas Tree into a New Year Tree. People
gladly returned to the old tradition under a new name. But I remember in
60s my Mom, who never was a church member or believer, secretly
celebrated Christmas with me. Now Russian society readily accepts
Christmas. Russians start celebrations on December 25 and continue until
January 14. (December 25 is ‘Western Christmas’, January 1 –
3-4 days of ‘News Year’ celebrations, January 7 – 3 days of
‘Russian Orthodox Church Christmas’, January 13 – ‘ Old
Russian Calendar New Year’). Foreign businessmen, who live in
Russia have to bite the bullet and understand that no business
operations may be expected during that period of time.

Many Russians give tepid welcome to new holidays. For example,
Eltsins’ Independence Day in June is accepted as an additional day-off,
but never as a Day. Last June, when the government propaganda started to
mention it as a Holiday, many people said: ‘Independence from

So, I don’t think that Russian went on the streets on November 7 to
support communists. I think, many of them like me just wanted to meet
their friends and have few drinks together.